There is a famous Catholic saying that captures the reality of what we are about to enter: "It must be Holy Week." The saying signifies that because the God of the universe endured the greatest injustice in human history for our sake, we should expect a heavy dose of the bizarre ourselves. But even though bad things happen to good people, we don't stop at the mere recognition of evil. We can see beyond evil because of the resurrection faith. The eyes of faith provide clarity of vision and perspective, since we know that the battle between good and evil has already been won. Holy Week is a living out of the Paschal mystery, so that we can be armed to move forward in spite of everyday resistance, and at times, disturbing evil.
Bishop Robert Barron used an image familiar to us as we transition into spring: "What is more obnoxious, more disagreeable than winter rain? But without it, there will be no growth. So the depressions, setbacks, failures, sufferings of our lives are like winter rains. Do we trust in the work of the divine cultivator?"
Speaking of trust, I think it is fitting that we return to our patron saint for insight during Holy Week, for we were privileged to enter Holy Week through his solemnity. Even though St. Joseph was not present to observe the redemptive suffering of Christ, his silent witness still protects Mary and Jesus, even as they become the recipients of incalculable evil.
Pope Francis commented on St. Joseph's silent trust in the 2015 apostolic visit to America:
Joseph was someone who asked questions. But first and foremost, he was a man of faith. Faith gave Joseph the power to find light just at the moment when everything seemed dark. Faith sustained him amid the troubles of life. Thanks to faith, Joseph was able to press forward when everything seemed to be holding him back.
In the face of unjust and painful situations, faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness. As it did for Joseph, faith makes us open to the quiet presence of God at every moment of our lives, in every person and in every situation. God is present in every one of you, in each one of us.
We don't trust for no reason. Instead, we know the ultimate reason worth doing anything: The darkness has not, nor will ever win. The light of the resurrection which inspires faith will make the difference in the world, but only if we trust that God cannot abandon us even when we experience terrible treatment or serious evil.
May your families receive a rich outpouring of graces from the Triduum, and may the intercession of St. Joseph give us all a renewed vision of faith.
Yours Truly In Christ,